Saturday, December 27, 2008

Must Reads

Bob Herbert: Stop Being Stupid

Joby Warrick: CIA buys Afghan chief's loyalty with Viagra

Obama's Weekly Address - Dec. 27, 2008

Christmas Eve, 2008

T Minus 24 Days

"Dick Cheney and I do not want this nation to be in a recession. We want anybody who can find work to be able to find work."

- 60 Minutes II, December 2000

Well, shit. If I'd known it was that easy...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Rove: Bush Likes Too Reed

Oh, Turdblossom, Turdblossom... is this what your legacy has come to? For someone who was planning on a permanent Republican majority in the very recent past, this is an incredibly pathetic attempt to try and fool what's left of the public that still believes a word you and the Chimp in Chief (up 2 points to 29% at last count) have to say. And now you're writing an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal talking about the reading contest between you and the MENSA Man. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

With only five days left, my lead is insurmountable. The competition can't catch up. And for the third year in a row, I'll triumph. In second place will be the president of the United States. Our contest is not about sports or politics. It's about books.

It all started on New Year's Eve in 2005. President Bush asked what my New Year's resolutions were. I told him that as a regular reader who'd gotten out of the habit, my goal was to read a book a week in 2006. Three days later, we were in the Oval Office when he fixed me in his sights and said, "I'm on my second. Where are you?" Mr. Bush had turned my resolution into a contest.

......At year's end, I defeated the president, 110 books to 95.
Sorry, Karl. The Preznit pulled one over on you. The Pet Goat and Alexander and the Terrible,Horrible,No Good,Very Bad Day don't count. Green Eggs and Ham and Where The Wild Things Are don't count. Picture books don't count. The side of a cereal box doesn't count. The tag in his trousers pocket reading, "Inspected by #12" doesn't count.

It's a shame Bush didn't have this zest for reading on August 6th, 2001. And yet we have Bush's Brain extolling the virtues of Mr. Peeance Freeance's vast literary "curiosity" and kissing his wrinkled ass in the process. But I guess Rove is used to having his nose up Bush's rectum. Where do you think the "turd" in Turdblossom comes from? Get a load of this:

...Each year, the president also read the Bible from cover to cover, along with a daily devotional.

...He read one book meant for young adults, his daughter Jenna's excellent "Ana's Story."

......He reads on Air Force One and to relax and because he's curious.
It's amazing how far Karl Rove can get his large, bulbous head up George's ass and still manage to give shout outs to Jebus and Jenna. But "curious"? Well, now you've just gone too far, Karl.

The saddest part of it all is that if any of this were true, Bush, as leader of the free world found enough time to read as little as 40 and as many as 95 books per year over these past three years. I don't know what's worse: the fact that he really doesn't read or the fact that he really had to finish Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince before he could get to his PDBs.

No amount of revisionist history or pathetic "Legacy Project" work is going to convince the educated public that George W. Bush was and is nothing but an uninspired, uncaring, incurious two-bit hack who had no business being the President of the local PTA chapter, let alone the United States. And if you think that you are likely to persuade anyone otherwise with your worthless Wall Street Journal op-eds, then maybe you weren't the political genius everyone gave you credit for being, either.

(H/T Crooks & Liars)

T Minus 25 Days

"I am mindful of the difference bewtween the executive branch and the legislative branch. I assured all four of these leaders that I know the difference, and that difference is they pass the laws and I execute them."

- Washington, DC, December 2000

And let's not forget Turdblossom who celebrated his 58th birthday yesterday and gave us this little dingleberry of wisdom:

"As people do better, they start voting like Republicans - unless they have too much education and vote Democratic..."

Happy birthday, Douchebag.
And Happy Boxing Day! Also, today is the first day of Kwanzaa.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Eartha Kitt Dies at 81

NY TIMES: Eartha Kitt, who purred and pounced her way across Broadway stages, recording studios and movie and television screens in a show-business career that lasted more than six decades, died on Thursday. She was 81 and lived in Connecticut.

I'll always remember my first exposure to Eartha Kitt - as Catwoman.

Harold Pinter Dies at 78

NY TIMES: Harold Pinter, the British playwright whose gifts for finding the ominous in the everyday and the noise within silence made him the most influential and imitated dramatist of his generation, died on Wednesday. He was 78 and lived in London.
Photo: John Haynes/Lebrecht

T Minus 26 Days

Merry Christmas, Mr. President-elect.

Merry Christmahanukwanzika!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Last Minute Shopping

A little bit chilly in a rainy Bryant Park on this Christmas Eve day.

(Pic taken by Broadway Carl on his crappy Treo700WX. Not the phone, just the camera feature.)

T Minus 27 Days

"I've abandoned free market principles to save the free market system."

- Washington, DC, December 16, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

BREAKING NEWS! Obama Staff Guilty of Nothing...

... in the Blagojevich investigation. Whew! With all the right wing hackery of guilt by proximity, I was beginning to worry.

NY Times: An internal report issued on Tuesday by lawyers for President-elect Barack Obama found that his top advisers had numerous contacts with the office of Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and attempted to guide his choice to fill a vacant Illinois Senate seat, but none of the talks suggested an attempt to play along with the governor’s alleged attempts to sell the seat.

Suck it, fuckers.

T Minus 28 Days

"I'm not the expert on how the Iraqi people think, because I live in America, where it's nice and safe and secure."

- Washington, DC ,2004

Monday, December 22, 2008


This Facebook thing is a blessing and a curse. Does anyone else feel that way?

Don't get me wrong, I love the networking capabilities. Finding a friend that you haven't seen in years is pretty awesome. Someone finding you that you never really cared for in the first place? Not so much. And Facebook seems to be a much more user friendly than MySpace. That's cool.

But there are people who live on Facebook. That's not cool. I'm not going to preach, because I'm not the outdoorsy type and can waste a day in front of the computer or the TV with the best of them, but it's a little unhealthy to live your life through Facebook, or completely online for that matter. When my desk chair has an ass groove formed in it, there's a problem.

Go out and enjoy the day, at least for a little while. So stop with the "friending" people you barely know. Yay, they're on your friend list now. So what? Do you talk to them on a regular basis? Have they shared a valuable life experience with you? If so, great. If not, then they're not your friend. Stop asking random people to be your friend. It's pathetic. No one has 2,763 friends. Don't believe me? How many holiday cards do you send out? Now subtract the obligatory family cards. How many do you have left? Bet you most of you don't break 100.

But the real reason Facebook can be annoying is all these stupid little applications that seem to dominate your Facebook page. Want to have a good time at the wine bar down the street? Why do that instead of using the "Pass Out Drinks To Friends" application. I mean, I know it doesn't taste as good, but it's cheaper to buy fake drinks for 3,000 of your closest online friends. Here's an idea: share sushi at actual sushi restaurant, not in a virtual "Send Someone Sushi" way.

And stop poking me! Do you poke people in real life? Or do you just say hello? I would most likely beat up someone who poked me. It's rude. And what's with the "Super Poke"? What are you, fucking Superman and think you can ram your finger through my sternum?! And don't fucking "Fling Food" at me unless you want to get a fake dry cleaning bill. I don't need imaginary gyro stains on my shirt.

And the kicker to all of this shit is that they make you jump through flaming hoops to join these fucking annoying applications. Oh look, so-and-so, sent me a hug. I don't know her very well but, what the heck it's just a hug. So you click Accept and get whisked away to another page where they ask you to Allow this application. Okay, so you click Allow and now you are taken to another page to invite your friends - now you get to Give a hug. You still haven't received your hug but now you're doling them out. And you have to choose between the little pick bunny hugging a bouquet of flowers or the green teddy bear holding a rose. What the fuck! And still you can't find your fucking hug! My advice is click Ignore.

The reason Facebook is on my mind is because last night I started a group for some fellow commenters on a specific blog. Some regulars at the threads have become friendly with each other and were exchanging photos, getting to know each other a little better and it became all convoluted because of the secret cross e-mailing as not to divulge your e-mail address on a public thread. After it was deemed you were worthy of that breach of privacy, then you had to figure out who's username matched with who's e-mail address, and was this Kathy the same as that Kathy and who the hell is she? - I thought she was a he! ... it was a fucking nightmare. So now, having the ability to start a page on Facebook devoted to a small group of people for the sake of getting to know each other was actually a valuable thing. That's fine. It was fun to create. But do we have to have groups for EVERYTHING?!

Do I need to join the "Just Say No to Fake Maple Syrup" group? What if I like fake maple syrup? And some groups are just there to make a statement, I know that. I'm a proud member of "I Have More Foreign Policy Experience Than Sarah Palin" group - 244,096 members strong. But is there a need for the establishment of the " Close Your Damn Legs on the Subway So I Can Sit Down Already!!!" group? I know they're venting but that's what blogs are for. Can I live without being the 434th member of "The Man Who Threw A Shoe At George Bush Appreciation Society"? I think so.

So enjoy Facebook. Have fun with it. Meet new friends or reconnect with old ones. But don't let it run your life. Make it the springboard for a destination, not the destination itself.

And stop fucking poking me.

T Minus 29 Days

"We look forward to hearing your vision, so we can more better do our job. That's what I'm telling you."

-Gulfport, Missouri, 2005

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Final Rick Warren Post... I Hope

Bob Cesca's blog has been all Rick Warren all week. It's been an interesting debate with, unfortunately, no resolution. No one's budged on their stance and it's one of those issues where it looks like they're going to have to agree to disagree (but that's not happening either). So it's been a long week for Cescans¹ and the GDAB². Here's my take on it for (hopefully) the last time. This was a comment I wrote on Armadillo Joe's blog, but I thought I'd post it here as well (with a few grammatical changes for cohesion and slight elaboration on thoughts).

I understand the frustration with the Warren crap, but ultimately will it matter? Obama chose Warren to give an invocation, not to become his new Senior Policy Advisor. I know it seems like a slap in the face to liberals, progressives, pro-choice advocates and the LGBT community now, but who's really gonna give a shit a month from now? That's how I'm looking at it. Obama is not all of a sudden going to become pro-life.

This is why I disagree with Glenn Greenwald's quote in Armadillo Joe's post:

Armadillo Joe: Righties think god is on their side and the devil is in any opposition. In such a formulation, how can we ever find the middle? We can't because there isn't one. As Glenn Greenwald wrote yesterday:
Ultimately, the reason politics is unavoidably "divisive" is because people have really divergent and irreconcilable views on passion-provoking controversies. That's what politics is. It's what it always has been. At some point, Obama either will or won't repeal DOMA and don't-ask-don't-tell; he either will or won't rescind Bush's anti-abortion regulations and appoint new Supreme Court Justices likely to re-affirm Roe; he either will or won't close Gitmo; he either will or won't withdraw from Iraq; he either will or won't investigate Bush war crimes; he either will or won't deliver on his promises to unions, etc. People feel very strongly -- and very differently -- about those issues.

I disagree because I believe Obama's decision to include Warren in his inauguration for a three minute prayer (something that shouldn't be a part of the ceremony to begin with, IMHO) isn't going to change his mind on pro-choice, or closing Gitmo, or troop withdrawal from Iraq, or suddenly make him think conservative judges are what we need in the Supreme Court.

Sure, I'm disappointed that he chose Warren for all the same reasons everyone else is, but I don't find the invocation so important that I believe it's the beginning of the end for the Obama administration. Unemployment, health care, getting out of the Middle East, vets care, the economy - these are the things that are important to me, not who says what prayer when.

Which is why I don't agree with Christopher Hitchens either.

Hitchens: A president may by all means use his office to gain re-election, to shore up his existing base, or to attract a new one. But the day of his inauguration is not one of the days on which he should be doing that. It is an event that belongs principally to the voters and to their descendants, who are called to see that a long tradition of peaceful transition is cheerfully upheld, even in those years when the outcome is disputed.
So according to Hitchens, yes, Obama can be inclusive - that's what he campaigned on, that he's the President of all Americans; that there are no red states or blues states, only the United States - but not on Inauguration Day! That's the day that Obama voters get to rub the losers' noses in it!

I say either Obama is going to believe what he says every day, or he's going to be politically maneuvering every day. I hope it's the former, but it has to be every day. Including Inauguration Day.

And finally, look at it another way. Warren's acceptance of the invitation is not sitting well with his base. I would say the evangelical right is freaking out about Warren's attendance as much if not more than the progressive left is. So, although I doubt this is the reason for the invite, an unintended consequence is that Warren's power and influence among his flock may possibly be compromised on Obama's first day in office. That can only be a good thing.

¹ - The Bob Cesca blog commenting community
² - Goddamn Awesome Blog

T Minus 30 Days

"Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods."

- Washington, DC, December 2000